Five Wednesdays, July 24-Aug. 21, 7-9:30 pm
$215 members/$245 others Berkeley
In this class you’ll dive into the act of discovery. Rather than setting the lofty goal of making “literature,” you’ll dig in the dirt, smear paint on the canvas, and play. “Every day I watch my little boy throw his toys around, invent games, wonder at the magic of everyday objects,” says Andy Touhy. “He’s busy engaging, ‘making believe,’ totally unconcerned with outcome or whether anything ‘makes sense.’ And I remember why I started writing in the first place: to disappear in the moment of creation.
“It’s easy to get sidetracked—we all do this—by trying to write something good and right, if not perfect. But the focus on product, and polishing, can steal the joy of making, the pleasure of filling a blank page. Is it any wonder our writing gets stuck? That we drop our pens in disappointment? If I’ve learned anything about keeping a writing practice alive, it’s that I need to start new things, have fun, and surprise and please myself.”
Raw Writing won’t leave you feeling raw. In this workshop you’ll use visualization and relaxation techniques, along with both short and longer timed, in-class writing exercises, that put the joy of discovering fresh new material back into the writing process. You’ll also read excerpts of short fiction, creative nonfiction, essays and poetry for inspiration.
“We’ll play with words and sentences like kids do, generate rough writing—even silly, nonsense stuff—all without judgment or criticism,” says Andy. “Writing is work, and revision is essential. But experimentation and risk are also crucial: They are the fuel that keeps our writing energized, and inspires us to rediscover ourselves again and again.”
Whether you’re a novice or seasoned writer, you can come to this class to gather uncooked “ingredients” and worry about cooking them later.
Andy Touhy is the recipient of the San Francisco Browning Society’s Dramatic Monologue Award and Fourteen Hills’ Bambi Holmes Fiction Prize. He is a nominee for inclusion in Best New American Voices, and his chapbook, “Designs for a Magician’s Top Hat,” was named a finalist for the 2009 Black River Chapbook Competition. His stories have appeared in Conjunctions, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Colorado Review, Eleven Eleven, Fast Forward Press, The Collagist, and other magazines. He holds an MA (English literature) from Ohio University and an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from San Francisco State University.